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Buildings of Markt Place, Bruges, Belgium
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Building Covered with Ivy, Brugge, Belgium
Building Covered with Ivy, Brugge, Belgium
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Belgium Travel Guide:
An Overview of Belgium for Travelers
Antwerp Travel Information
Bruges (Brugge) Tourist Information
Bruges Travel Information
Brussels: Chocolate Capital of the World
Discovering Antwerp
Gent (Ghent) Tourist Information
Holidays In Brussels - How To Get There & Navigate The Public Transport System Of Europe's Capital City
Namur Tourist Information
Oostende (Ostende) Tourist Information

Bruges Tourist Information   by Meredith Booney

Featured Brugge (Bruges) Hotels  /  Self-Catering Accommodation in Brugge

General summary of city:

Bruges, Belgium, from the Norse word 'Bryggja' meaning "mooring place," is one of the three regions and the capital of Flanders. Bruges has a population of over 100,000 and covers an area of approximately 138 km. This historic city, with its natural link to the sea, became a commercial center for European trade in early medieval times, as the harbor filled with ships carrying wool, grain, and wine. In a short while, the door opened for trade with countries on the Mediterranean Sea and the first fleet of ships arrived from Genoa, Italy. With the increase in international trade and the influx of capital, Bruges soon became an extremely wealthy city and a worldwide banking market. Over time, however, internal revolts between the prosperous tradesmen and the common people of Bruges led to the subsequent decline of the city as an important center for trade. As silt began to form and fill the waterway, Bruges was replaced as a major seaport by the more accessible city of Antwerp. After its separation from the Netherlands near the end of the medieval period, Bruges today is no longer known for its maritime prowess, but for its preservation as a provincial city with a wealth of culture and history.
Places of interest:

Bruges, often called the Venice of the North, is actually much further inland, amid different arms from the sea, waterways created by repeated flooding from the North Sea. After constant dredging, the Reie River was turned into a network of canals, the Water Halls of the Market. The Court of the Market (Grote Markt), the Castle, and the small towns of Damma and Suis are visited by tourists in Bruges on riverboats owned by five families. The Market has a belfry tower from which you have a spectacular view of the city and the Provincial Court, on the east side of the square where the original water halls existed, is a wonderful example of neo-Gothic architecture. The statues of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, national heroes, are located In the middle of the market square. Within the museum adjacent to the Castle, The Shrine of the Sacred Blood houses the vessel that is carried in a procession every year on Ascension Day. The southern area of modern reconstructed medieval houses still reflects the original architecture of Bruges. In addition, there are several wonderful museums in the city such as the archaeological museum, with historical exhibits from the Stone Age and beyond. Another place of interest is the Groeninge Museum, which houses a magnificent collection of fine art, containing works by Flemish masters such as Van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, Jacob van Oost, and the more recent expressionist masterpieces.

Beautiful Sunny Morning on the Canals of Bruges, Bruges, Belgium
Sunny Morning on the Canals of Bruges
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Things to do:

Walking through and around the ramparts that enclose this delightful, small city is one of the best ways to discover its charm. Carriages can be hired and scooters can be rented for an hour or a day of sightseeing, as well. Day trips by buses (fares are extremely reasonable) can be arranged to Sint-Trudo Abbey Male, former castle of the Counts of Flanders, and the Boudewijnpark and Dolphinarium, a theme park and panoramic aquarena. Take time for a stop at the Lace Center to watch the local artisans at work and the Antique and Flea Market where arts and crafts are featured. Exploring a bit further in the area around Bruges, you'll enjoy the beaches at Zeebruge, a small seaside resort, and the quaint village of Lissewege located between the city and the coast. Zeebruge lies within 8 miles from Bruges, connected by a canal, and boat trips and visits to the exhibitions of the sea are popular things to do. There is no end to great shopping in Bruges, largely between the Market square and the old city gates. A number of small specialty shops are situated in the center such as De Kaarsengieterij, the oldest and only candle shop in Bruges. Here, you can find garden and interior candles, candle holders, and t-lights, or if staying in the city a while, take the opportunity to order hand-painted candles for gifts and special occasions.

Food & Drink:

Bruges is known for excellent food and restaurants, featuring French and Flemish cuisine. Mussels, steamed in beer or wine, are a favorite of the people in Bruges and are often served with a side order of French fries with mayonnaise. Waterzooi is a type of soup with cream, vegetables, chicken, or fish, and paling in't groen consists of eels with vegetables and herbs. Popular selections for dining out, as might be expected, are in the variety of seafood that is available, from fresh salted herring to North Sea shrimp. Chocolate is a must for dessert or for purchase in the many shops or patisseries that surround the city and the Cote d'Or, with an inexpensive selection of chocolate bars. Wine is served in most places; however, with over 100 breweries in Belgium and 400 varieties, beer is the national drink in Bruges. There are three types of beer, lager or dark, white, and the lambic homebrewed beer, often flavoured with fruit. Beer is relatively expensive, but much stronger than beer from other countries. There are a number of restaurants and pubs such as De Garre that have great atmosphere and serve over 100 different varieties of beer.

Hotels & Accommodation:

Hotel Prinsenhof Sofitel Brugge Portinari Patritius Best Western Premier Hotel Navarra Small Luxury Hotel The Pand Relais Oud Huis Amsterdam Minotel Azalea Hotel De Tuilerieen Die Swaene Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce Crowne Plaza Hotel Brugge Walburg Hotel ****Restaurant Hotel de Orangerie Hotel De Castillion Brugsche Suites Graaf Van Vlaanderen Hotel Asiris Hotel Ibis Brugge Centrum Hotel Cordoeanier Hotel Botaniek Hotel Koffieboontje Hotel Jacobs Scandic Brugge Novotel Brugge Zuid Hotel Groeninghe Hotel 't Voermanshuys Hotel de Pauw Hotel Goezeput Campanile Brugge / Bruges Hotel Malleberg Hotel Gulden Vlies De Tassche Entertainment:

Bruges is a fun-filled city, if you're looking for some friendly nightlife. The nightclubs are small, but filled with lively conversation, drinking, and dancing. The Grand Café du Theatre features music from the 60's through the 90's, a large selection of beer, and snacks from 6 to 8 p.m. nightly. If you enjoy sports, the Snooker Palace is equipped with nine snooker tables, three dart boards, and a pool table. Backpackers in Burges will enjoy the Snuffels Sleep-In Bar, where plenty of beer is available and free concerts are held every two weeks. Another favorite nightspot is Kant, a sophisticated club with a great dance floor, serving the best champagnes and a variety of local beer and wine. Bars and pubs are popular, as well, such as Celtic Ireland on Burg Square and De Versteende nacht, for Wednesday night jazz. Larger nightspots are nearby in Antwerp and Ghent. Evening strolls to the market square of beautifully illuminated historic buildings, the tranquil parks, or lovers' lake, are enjoyable pastimes while in the delightful city of Bruges.

top / Featured Brugge Hotels  /  Self-Catering Accommodation in Brugge

About the Author - Website:  Meredith Booney is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing for travel journals, newspapers and magazines.


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Academie Hotel Brugge
The Academie Hotel in Bruges is situated in the "golden triangle" of the city, and is located within walking distance of the Minnewater, a canalized lake known as "the lake of love" due to its idyllic surroundings. The Gruuthuuse Museum, which features remarkable collections of furniture, tapestries, musical instruments, paintings and weapons from the 13th to the 19th centuries, sits close by the hotel as well. Guests can also walk to the Diamond Museum and explore the mysterious history of one of Belgium's most important exports or climb the 366 stairs to the top of Belfry tower, where one is rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views.
Boat Hotel De Barge Brugge
Welcome to Boat-hotel De Barge, definitely Bruges’ most original hotel. De Barge, which formerly plied the Bruges-Ghent canal, is today a well-known character three-star hotel.  A warm and friendly welcome is always guaranteed. ’Service’ & "Hospitality" are no empty words here: our experienced, dedicated crew is already looking forward to your visit and they will be happy to share their Bruges knowledge with tips and information.  Our goal is to make your stay unforgettable! 
Brugotel Brugge
Brugotel is a 3-star hotel, which was completely renovated in the beginning of 2007. It is easily accessible and has a very spacious, free parking area. And all this only a few minutes away from the historic centre of Bruges.  Brugotel is a hotel in lounge style. We offer you a combination of functionality and comfort in a pleasant atmosphere. Telephone, flat-screen television and Internet are available in every room. A broad breakfast buffet, a designer bar with terrace and the garden all combine to make our personal service complete.  A warm welcome is a given. We are pleased to chat with you and to give you a brief overview of our unique city.
Golden Tulip De Medici Hotel, Brugge
The Golden Tulip Hotel de Medici is housed in a converted brewery with a white crenellated façade. It overlooks one of Brugge's major canals and is one kilometer from the city center. The hotel houses a health center with ample fitness equipment, solarium, sauna, Turkish steam bath, massage room, and jetted spa; less energetic guests can relax with a drink at the bar with its leather armchairs and bar stool area. In the evening, the Koto Restaurant serves Japanese cuisine, including Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura and Teriyaki, prepared by chefs on traditional Teppan Yaki grill plates in full view of diners
Hans Memling Hotel Brugge
The Hans Memling Hotel is a three star Bruges hotel, located in the very centre of the city. Bruges is often referred to as 'the Venice of the North' and with good reason! Situated near the Belgian coast, the city of Bruges can be easily reached by both road and rail.  There are 36 guest bedrooms at the Hans Memling Hotel and there is a bar, a garden / terrace and facilities for holding business meetings and seminars. Because of its central location, the Hans Memling Hotel is very close to the well known shopping district, not to mention the famous Grand Palace and many other places of interest.
Hotel Portinari Brugge
Situated in central Bruges, this modern hotel is located within 500 metres of the city’s famous canals, and the Groeninge Museum.  Buffet breakfasts are served in the Hotel Portinari dining room, while a coffee shop and bar area offer a space for relaxation.  This hotel’s guestrooms are bright and modern with cherry wood furnishings, and all include cable television, minibars, and telephones.
Martins Brugge
Ideally located just opposite the Beffroi (a unique location at the heart of the historical centre of the Venice of the North), this prestigious three star hotel has recently undergone a facelift: a refreshing style and atmosphere, upgrading of the meeting rooms and a complete refurbishment of the 150 rooms (all equipped with a flat screen TV).  Martin's Brugge will also work its charm on you thanks to the peace and quiet of its courtyard garden.
Relais Oud Huis Amsterdam Brugge
A 17th Century mansion welcomes you in the heart of Bruges.  For almost four centuries near the Grand Place, the Relays " Oud Huis Amsterdam " mirrors its grand classical frontage in the peaceful waters of its canal.  This truly historic house is nowadays a haven providing the most demanding guest with the utmost comfort , a peaceful setting and considerate service.
The Pand Hotel - Small Luxury Hotel, Brugge
Formerly an 18th century carriage house, this refined boutique hotel is set in leafy square, within 50 meters of the canal in Bruges center. There are 26 individually styled guestrooms decorated with sumptuous fabrics, original antiques and period furniture. All include DVD players, Internet connections, laptop-size safes, minibars and satellite TV.  In addition, the elegant suites all feature Ralph Lauren fabrics and four-poster beds.  Guests can relax in the quiet lounge, library or by the open fire surrounded by objets d'art and exclusive antiques while perusing international magazines, books or complimentary newspapers.
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